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Under the VolcanoEmpire and Revolution in a Sicilian Town$
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Lucy Riall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646494

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646494.001.0001

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North and South

North and South

(p.145) 7 North and South
Under the Volcano

Lucy Riall

Oxford University Press

Italian unification brought a series of disappointments, as reflected in the later life of Nino Bixio. These disappointments were felt most clearly in the South, where a series of military campaigns were necessary to subdue peasant unrest. Despite an agreement in 1861 in which the Duchy ceded half of its territory to the commune of Bronte, the conflict in Bronte did not cease. Peasants did not receive their share of common land, and there were new outbreaks of violence during the crisis that swept Italy during the 1890s. But Bronte also acquired a new reputation as a romantic destination for British travellers to Italy. Writers, poets and artists visited the estate and were captivated by its wild beauty. Under the direction of Alexander Nelson Hood and his managers, the now much smaller estate became more productive and cash crops such as vines and oranges were cultivated; and Nelson Hood also built a villa in Taormina, helping to develop the town as a luxury resort for gay men from Northern Europe. But the divisions between the British and the local community remained, and the memory of what had happened in 1860 persisted.

Keywords:   Italian unification, Nino Bixio, Brigandage, Southern Question, latifondo, Alexander Nelson Hood, Viscount Bridport, Duke of Bronte, Taormina, Fasci Siciliani

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